Monday, July 24, 2006

The healthcare "crisis".

There's a nice editorial at the Globe and Mail about what's responsible for the healthcare "crisis". While I don't buy the contention that there is a crisis of any kind in healthcare -- I'd prefer "healthcare problem" or "healthcare challenge" -- the point that's spelled out is one that should really be obvious to any thinking person. Namely that if the federal government reduces transfers to the provinces, and the provinces cut taxes thus decreasing their own revenue, broad-based and costly social programs like healthcare will suffer.

>Consistently, polls show Canadians like their social programs just fine, thank you, and would really like more. Why governments continue to kowtow to the wealthy few percent is no mystery -- who do you think donates to their campaigns? -- but that in no way justifies their ignoring of important social goals.

Of course, this ignores the justice-based arguments in favour of public healthcare. But it's always good to remember exactly how much of the current problem has been manufactured by the very governments now pretending they will be able to solve it. Thus, this, on how Stevie will "fix" the fiscal "imbalance" between the feds and the provinces is deeply ironic:

The government has projected "quite high" revenues over the next two or three years, the insider explained, so it can afford to cut taxes, continue to spend on social programs, "and deal in a modest way with this equalization and other federal transfer programs." [emphasis added]

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